Source:  The Record, Friday, October 20, 1995, Advertisng Supplement, p. TN-8

The Father of Teaneck: William Weaver Bennett

By Robert D. Griffin, Township Historian

The Father of Teaneck, William Weaver Bennett (1841-1912).  William Bennett arrived in Teaneck in 1867 from his home in Binghampton, New York, where he had been a builder and architect. 

Born in England, he had apprenticed as a carpenter in Binghampton where he had arrived with his parents as an infant.  His skills were put to use during the war building army barracks and furniture.  After arriving in Teaneck, he designed and constructed s series of row houses on Teaneck Road (When called Washington Avenue) above Cedar Lane.  This and subsequent work in Englewood brought him to the attention to William Walter Phelps, Teaneck's post prominent and wealthy citizen.  Phelps hired Bennett to act as superintendent of his Englewood Farm properties (as he called them), which amounted to some 2,000 acres.

Before Teaneck broke away from Englewood in 1895, Bennett served as a town committeeman of that city as well as justice of the peace and Bergen County freeholder.  Having also managed the Phelps' estate for 14 years, he was the obvious (and unanimous) choice to serve as Teaneck's first township committee chairman, roughly the equivalent of mayor and manager combined.

William's son Harry, who succeeded him as superintendent of the Phelps' estate, served as Teaneck's first recorder.  The Bennett home stood on the site of Eugene Field school, right in the heart of the town he loved and served so well.


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